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papal grand strategy: an insight

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Aug 14, 2006

Veteran Vaticanologist Vittorio Messori, who collaborated with the future Benedict XVI to produce The Ratzinger Report, now sees an important hint about papal strategy encoded in a seemingly bland statement by the incoming Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

If Messori is right-- and he makes a solid argument-- the Pope's goal is to enhance the authority of diocesan bishops by decreasing the power of national episcopal conferences.

As Messori observes, Vatican moves to put the bishops' conferences in their place might look like efforts to centralize power in Rome. Actually they would be exactly the opposite.

(Tip to Amy Welborn for the lead.)

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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